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Such is the crisis at the American border

(CNN) — Trump-era immigration policy remains intact In the fogSo is life for the thousands of migrants waiting on the other side of the US border, many sleeping outside in overcrowded camps or shelters, crossing over to claim asylum.

In Matamoros, Mexico, near the U.S. border in front of Brownsville, Texas, on the southern tip of Texas, the migrants, mostly Venezuelans and Haitians, live in a large encampment, with tarp-covered tents and rows of cloth stretching between them. Some families wait there for weeks.

Many, including sick mothers and children, live on the streets, in abandoned houses and on sidewalks while waiting. “They are desperate,” said Glady Edith Cañas, director of the non-profit organization Ayudandos a Triunfar.

Others travel across the Rio Grande, which separates Matamoros from the United States.

On Monday, some used inflatable rafts to cross, pulled a rope attached to the American side and brought the boat back.

Title 42, a public health border policy initiated at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, allowed US officials to deport immigrants at the southern border.

Immigrants in Honduras insist on continuing on their way to the United States. 2:17

Days before the policy was set to expire Wednesday, Chief Justice John Roberts issued a temporary stay, temporarily maintaining Trump-era public health restrictions.

Now, uncertainty hangs over those waiting at the border.

Meanwhile, on the western edge of Texas, about 800 miles (1,300 kilometers) northwest of Matamoros, National Guard and state police troops line the banks of the Rio Grande River in El Paso, and armed members of the Mexican military line up in some areas. On the other hand, in Ciudad Juárez.

There, after crossing the river and wading through the discarded belongings of those who came before them, migrants have lined up for hours near the wall in recent days to turn themselves in to U.S. Border Patrol agents.

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As the sun went down, some people built fires to keep warm, wrapped themselves in blankets, and lined up.

This Tuesday night, members of the National Guard and state police installed barbed wire to block a common crossing used by thousands of migrants in recent weeks. Those waiting to cross were told to go to the nearest bridge for shelter operations.

Four people who tried to crawl under the barbed wire were arrested, the video showed.

Immigrants continue to try to cross the border into the United States.

Elsewhere on the American side, shelters are full and not everyone is safe there. A group of migrants sleep on the ground in front of a bus station in El Paso, Texas this Sunday.

El Paso Mayor Oscar Leiser declared a state of emergency on Saturday due to what he described as unsafe conditions due to a recent surge of immigrants arriving in the community.

The mayor said Monday that he heard more than 20,000 people on the Mexican side of the border are waiting for Title 42 to be lifted.

Drone footage showed dozens of migrants lining up near the border in El Paso on Tuesday, with families and young children waiting near barbed wire and Texas National Guard troops.

Across the Rio Grande, Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, has seen an increase in arrivals in recent weeks, according to Mayor Perez Cuyler. “It’s a city of immigrants,” he told CNN.

Thousands are waiting to lift Title 42 in the Mexican city of Reynosa, across the border in the Rio Grande Valley, where about 4,000 people are staying in two shelters and about 4,000 in other camps and surrounding areas, Pastor Hector Silva said.

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He saw his mother fall from a cliff. She is one of thousands of people looking for a home in America.

Migrants arriving at the border often make difficult journeys to get there.

One of them, who gave his name as Brian, told CNN en Español that he and his mother left Venezuela three months ago. He only went to South Texas.

The mother and son were traveling through the infamous Darien Gap, a dangerous 37-mile (60-kilometer) stretch of jungle that migrants cross from Colombia to Panama. Brian said his mother was helping him across when he grabbed a branch and then fell off a cliff into the river.

Now, on the way to New York, Brian said he’ll never forget the sight of his mother.

Migrants sleep on the streets in border towns.

Migrants sleep on the streets in border towns.

US border officials are preparing for an influx of migrants

A federal source told CNN that border officials in the Rio Grande Valley have been dealing with 900 to 1,200 migrants a day for the past two weeks ahead of the Title 42 expiration date.

And a senior Border Patrol official said last week that more than 2,400 migrants entered the U.S. daily near El Paso over the weekend.

Officials predict that repealing Title 42 could lead to an increase in the number of immigrants trying to enter the U.S., and border cities are bracing for it.

The Department of Homeland Security predicts that when Title 42 expires, 9,000 to 14,000 migrants may try to cross the southern U.S. border daily, more than double the current population, according to CNN.

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Meanwhile, accommodating the arriving migrants remains a challenge.

“I believe our asylum seekers are not safe today because we have hundreds and hundreds of them on the streets, and that’s not how we want to treat people,” the El Paso mayor said Saturday.

Two vacant schools in El Paso will be used as temporary shelters for immigrants, city officials announced Tuesday, in addition to three emergency shelters.

The city also sends teams to various areas of migrant concentration to provide transportation and temporary shelter services.

“All eyes are on El Paso, and for this reason, we must show the world the compassion our community is known for and demonstrate the resilience and strength of our region,” City Manager Tommy Gonzalez said, according to a statement.

Title 42 has been disabled, but projects are still ongoing

The Department of Homeland Security released a plan for the planned termination of Title 42 last week. This includes increasing resources for the border, including hiring nearly 1,000 Border Patrol data processing coordinators and increasing resources for transportation such as planes and buses.

Despite the suspension preventing the completion of the policy, US officials continue planning.

Emir Eduardo Sánchez Mendez, center, and Jean Martinez sell water and food to migrants who have crossed the Rio Grande and lined up near the border wall. Venezuelans hope to be able to apply for asylum when Title 42 expires.

“We’re continuing as if nothing has changed,” a senior U.S. Customs and Border Protection official told CNN, adding that policy discussions are still ongoing to provide other legal avenues for Nicaraguans, Haitians and Cubans. border

As for what will happen this Wednesday if the deadline is still suspended, an official said there could be a “small increase”.

“I think some people probably don’t get the message and won’t until they try to cross,” the official said. “There are already some pledges to cross.”

CNN’s Rosa Flores, David Culver, Catherine E. Shoiset, Priscilla Alvarez and Ed Lavandera contributed to this report.